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2013/12/06 / Gillian


We’ve been pretty busy here at Symmetric HQ, what with all the holiday baking, tablescaping, field-tripping (more on that later!) – but perhaps what we’re most excited about is the opening of our Etsy shop!  We’ve hand-picked our very first holiday collection of vintage clothing, jewelry and book prints and are delighted to make them available to the teeming Christmas shopping hordes (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  We’re at eight online sales and counting!).

We are offering free shipping in North America ’til the end of the year and are listing new items every day.  Please stop by — you can imagine us styling you up and plying you with homemade eggnog in front of a crackling fire.  Or something like that.

You can bookmark us at The Symmetric on Etsy.  Here are a few of our current offerings…

navy evening jacket blazer easy shop

The Jacqueline dress jacket.

antique victorian watchkey necklace gold etsy shop

The Una Victorian watchkey necklace.

vintage leather pencil skirt etsy shop

The Debbie leather pencil skirt.

vintage book art print etsy shop love

Can There Be Love Without Danger? vintage book print.

vintage beaded black cardigan evening top etsy shop

The Paulina beaded cardigan.

Louise gold necklace charms ring horn heart locket easy shop

The Louise, gold triple charm necklace.

vintage book prints easy shop field guide rocks

A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals, vintage book print.  Coming soon!

Have a great weekend.

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2013/11/25 / Shanan


My weekend was filled a million tiny colourful bits… how about yours?

Image above: Rehabilitating a thrift-store coat with sew-on crystals.

ginger molasses sprinkle cookies bon appetit magazine

Theo and I made chewy ginger molasses cookies with sprinkles – a trial run for the sure-to-be copious holiday baking to come.  Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit magazine (can you truly call it an adaptation if all you did was add sprinkles to the mix?  Yes, yes you can).

kitchen party glitter explosion

Post-apocalyptic play-kitchen glitter explosion.

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2013/11/20 / Gillian


Now that we have rallied from our PPD (I’ve hidden the BBQ chips), it’s time to dish a little about our trunk show.

We wanted to have a proper in vivo launch for the new incarnation of The Symmetric.  Part cocktail party, part art opening, part pop-up shop, part dream (according to one lovely guest), it was just the concoction we were looking for to fête our new venture and to show our wares to friends in our community.

vintage clothing holiday collection trunk show

Featured at the trunk show Saturday evening was our selection of vintage and antique fine and costume jewelry, as well as vintage holiday clothing and accessories.  In addition to the wardrobe pieces, we displayed limited-edition book art prints, custom shadow boxes with hand-gilded milkweed and thorns, and large-format nature photographs. Shanan’s home (Symmetric HQ and fondly dubbed “The Orchard”) provided a perfect backdrop for the soiree. Filled with so many wonderful women and friends, we were truly tickled pink with the evening. And yes, the rumours are true: we are already whispering ideas for the next one!

Would you like to see some more photos?  Of course you would.


vintage book art prints gallery wall

Vintage book art prints (soon to be available in our upcoming online shop).


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2013/11/11 / Gillian


The allure of gender-bending in fashion is nothing new.  Marlene Dietrich feminized the tuxedo for the first time in 1930; three decades later the iconic Yves Saint Laurent le smoking hit the scene, forever entrenching the appeal of homme/femme in fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent le smoking jacket

Le smoking, in its glory.

This fall in Canada, it seems the spirit of androgyny is alive and well. Evocative Montreal designer Rad Hourani (the first designer in fashion history to be invited to show a unisex collection for haute couture in Paris) is featured this month at the Phi Centre in Montreal in a self-curated exhibit entitled Seamless: 5 Years of Unisex.  Meanwhile, the Art Gallery of Ontario is currently hosting the show-stopping David Bowie is, celebrating his revolutionary foray into the realms of art, music, theatre and costume.

Perhaps best put by French actress Catherine Deneuve, the attraction of couture’s blurring of gender lines lies in the creation of a sense of the “virile and feminine at the same time.”  The tension between the two in clothing creates a dynamic of bold/soft, dark/light, edgy/elegant, and signifies a style that is incomparably empowering to its wearers – just ask any woman who has ever worn a tuxedo or suit how transformative a piece it can be.  In my own closet, my tuxedo is one of my most sentimental pieces.

Today, my homage to the beauty and strength of unisex in some of my favourite Autumn/Winter collections right now:

Image up top: J.Crew Collection printed tweed blazer and tuxedo pant.

Indress autumn winter 2013

INDRESS, Frédéric silk shirt, Paul wool pants, Zak silk scarf.  Blindfold… optional?

Roberto Collina A/W13 blue suit

Roberto Collina, woven double-breasted jacket, woven trousers, fur scarf.  From FW13-14 collection.

Jeremy Laing FW13 gold trousers

Jeremy Laing, Look 25 and Look 8 from the Fall & Winter 2013 collection.

Smythe Les Vestes poppy black tuxedo blazer

Smythe Les Vestes, flat lapel blazer in black and poppy, from the Fall/Holiday collection.

Stella McCartney autumn 2013 blue suit

Stella McCartney, navy suit from Look 3 of Autumn 2013.

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2013/11/04 / Shanan


Hey blue sky.  You’ve probably noticed the new additions to the site that quietly went up this weekend… Gillian and I are all giddy over here (think schoolgirls, only with fine facial lines!).

The part we’re perhaps most excited about is creating our first mini vintage lookbook together (if you haven’t seen it yet, please do go visit The Symmetric’s new main page and click on the ‘lookbook’ link).  We wanted to show some of the great vintage clothing and jewelry in a more editorial light and to set a tone for what we want to put out into the world.  It was a project we certainly didn’t have to do but decided to really just run with – and I’m so glad we did.

I’m not a professional photographer by ANY means, and Gillian will be the first to guffaw over the prospect of modelling, but we put our insecurities aside (briefly! briefly!), our game-faces on, and rocked the wilds of Nottawasaga Side Road the likes of which have never been seen.  Indeed, the neighbours driving by in their pick-up trucks thought we were certifiable.

Here are a few bonus shots that we still loved but that didn’t quite make the cut:


The Symmetric lookbook extras

The Symmetric lookbook extras

The vintage clothing will all be available for purchase at our inaugural trunk show (more on that later this week) and then in our soon-to-launch online shop.